Past Advisors

Gordon Yakeleya Print

Gordon YakeleyaGordon Yakeleya was born at K'áalǫ Túé (Willow Lake). The youngest of sixteen children, he was taken to Grollier Hall residential school at the age of fourteen, but only stayed for three months. His father became ill with tuberculosis and was sent away to the hospital, and Gordon had to return home to help his mother.  He and his family spent most of their time on the land, hunting and trapping. When he was sixteen years old he started earning an income. His first job was firefighting for $5/day. He did work for various seismic exploration companies for seven winters in the Tulı́t’a, Norman Wells and Colville Lake areas, and as far south as Fort Wrigley. His next career was hauling fuel and water in his home community of Tulı́t’a - he did this for many years. In the late 1980s he started a career in politics, including terms as Chief of the Tulı́t’a Dene Band, President of the Tulı́t’a Land Corporation and Tulı́t’a District Land Corporation, Grand Chief of the Sahtú Dene Council, and Mayor of the Tulı́t’a Hamlet. Throughout all those years, Gordon took every opportunity to continue hunting and trapping in various places, including the K'áalǫ Túé, Dǝocha (Bennett Field) and Blackwater areas. He was elected President of the Tulı́t’a Ɂehdzo Got'ı̨nę in June 2017. His vision is to encourage his community, and especially the youth, to keep the traditional land-based skills alive.